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Top 10 Surprises About Going to College

Written by: Lindsay Shugerman

August 29, 2011
Filed Under Education 

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Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru



If you just started college, is it everything your expected? If you’re like most people, there were some surprises about going to college.

Here’s our top 10 list for the college freshman, or college bound.

10. No one asks if you’ve done your homework


When you decide to go from class to a party, no one will be around to ask if your homework is done, or remind you to take your cell phone. It really is up to you now.

9. Getting homesick is normal


That queasy feeling you felt when your parents drove away? The tears you fight back when you hear your little sister on the phone? Yup, even the most together, self-assured college students feel it. And yes, it does get better.

8. There are a whole lot of really smart people there

surprises at college
In high school, you had a mix of the college bound, and the not college bound. Now you’re surrounded by people who were not only college bound, but actually made the cut. It can pretty intimidating, until you realize that you’re one of them!

7. It’s okay to not know what you want to be

surprises at college
Ever since we were kids, people have been asking us what we wanted to be when we grew up. But guess what? Part of the college experience is figuring that out – kind of. Fact is, lots of people change their majors, and many never end up doing what they studied. And that’s okay.

6. Life is expensive

surprises at college
If you’re like most college students, mom or dad used to pay for a lot of life’s little expenses. Now that they’re not around to run to grocery store or fill up the car, you’re starting to get a feel for how expensive it all can be.

5. You are much messier than you thought

surprises at college
It takes a few months for most new college students to get the hang of cleaning up after themselves, doing laundry and putting things away. (Some never do.) But for most of you, there will come a day when you look around, realize you’re making a mess, and change your ways.

4. Your professors won’t care if you don’t come to class

surprises at college

Some of them might not even notice. But when it comes time to take a test, or hand in a project whose due date was changed on a day you missed, you’ll learn to care – a lot!

3. There’s no one to call your teacher and tell them you’re sick, or get an extension on a paper

surprises at college
Fact is, not only won’t most professors care if you miss class, they won’t care if you have to come to class sick, forgot about a project due date, or overslept. In college, the syllabus is law.

2. Classes are only part of the learning experience

surprises at college
In college, you’ll learn at least as much from interacting with other people, managing your time and budget, tackling difficult challenges, and planning ahead as you will from the “official” classes.

1. You are much more capable than you thought

surprises at college
This isn’t about swagger or ego. You will be amazed at just how much you can manage, and how smart you really are. And that is the real lesson of college.



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